Skip to main content

Human Relations - Topics & Resources: Critical Thinking

Are you open minded?

The DIFFICULT part of critical thinking is
- to look at the alternative possibilities
- with the same open mind you use
- when you read something that agrees with you.

Ask Good Questions


  • What do you mean by                     ?

  • Could you put that another way?

  • Could you give me an example?

  • Could you explain that further?

Probe Assumptions

  • What are you assuming?

  • What could we assume instead?

  • You seem to be assuming                       .  Do I understand you correctly?

  • You seem to be assuming                          .  How would you justify taking this for granted?

  • Is it always the case?  

Probe Reasons and Evidence

  • How do you know?

  • Why do you think that is true?

  • What led you to that belief?

  • Do you have any evidence for that?

  • What would convince you otherwise?

Viewpoints or Perspectives

  • Can anyone see this another way?

  • What would someone who disagrees say?

  • What is an alternative?

Probe Implications and Consequences

  • What are the consequences of your assumption?

  • What else could also happen as a result?  Why?

  • What effect would that have?

  • Would that necessarily happen or only probably happen?

Questions About the Question

  • Why is this question important?

  • What does this question assume?

  • Is the question clear?  Do we understand it?

  • Is this question easy or hard to answer?  Why?

  • To answer this question, what questions would we have to answer first?

  • Can we break this question down into parts?

Films on Demand

TED Ed: 5 tips to improve your critical thinking - Samantha Agoos - YouTube

TED Talk: Why you think you're right — even if you're wrong

Translate to another language with Google Translate:

About UsContact UsFVTC Terms of ServiceSitemap
FVTC Privacy StatementFVTC Library Services Accessibility Statement

Fox Valley Technical College • Library Services • 1825 N. Bluemound Drive • Room G113
Appleton, WI 54912-2277 • United States • (920) 735-5653
© 2019 Fox Valley Technical College All Rights Reserved.

The pages are hosted by SpringShare. Springshare Privacy Policy.